ENVIRONMENT

The Chimneys site is blessed with stands of mature native shade trees and large structure trees, around and within which the housing clusters and infrastructure have been planned. In addition, there are extensive areas of undisturbed bushland on the extremities of the site, which are home to a multitude of native birds and animals, and which are to be retained as Environment Protection Zones. These areas act as “buffer zones”, insulating the housing clusters and Village centre from adjacent development to the north, whilst the river banks on the west are shaded and stabilised by the trees there.

The Architect and Landscape Architect for the Village have worked in close collaboration to ensure that landscape works form a fundamental integral part of the development, with the following key principles:

  • Narrow, light coloured roadways, draining to swales rather than kerbs and gutters, are to be lined with small-medium endemic evergreen tree planting, shading the roadways and reducing reflected ground temperatures.
  • Swale planting will incorporate two wetland species Carex appressa and Juncus usitatus, which will take up water from road areas. They will form a pleasant, low maintenance road boundary.
  • The walking and bicycle trails are to be lined with fruit and nut trees, irrigated by recycled water from the community waste water treatment plant. These trees will provide some of the food for residents, as well as providing a pleasant and shaded path for walking, jogging and cycling.
  • Smaller spaces within communal courtyard areas will be vegetated using endemic ground-plane grasses, selected for high drought tolerance and low ongoing maintenance.
  • Planting along boundaries will include grape and passion fruit vines and lilly pilly hedges. These plants are hardy and recycled water will provide for their low to moderate watering requirements. They will provide a food source, and form an impressive green edge to roads and privacy for dwellings.
  • The Village will have a limited number of large structure trees, mainly along the southern boundary. These trees will be of significant mature size and are appropriate to the large scale of the spaces in which they are placed.
  • The Village will also have a large area of commercial gardens and orchards, designed to provide at least 25% of the food needs of residents, managed by the community neighbourhood association, and designed with specialist perma-culture advice.
  • With the exception of food production plants, all species are of endemic origin and will grow on this site with very limited ongoing maintenance requirements, after the initial establishment period.

It is EASY being green. ENVIRONMENT. ARCHITECTURE. SOCIAL. YIELD.

This project is different to typical projects and to other sustainable subdivisions.  it’s perhaps the most accountable sustainable project in Australia.  This is the first project I’m aware of where:

the developer has committed to a measurable reduction in climate change pollution

the developer has invited an approval which requires the publication of annual data

a research and educational charity is being set up to collect and publish the data

measurable goals have been set to allow benchmarks to be scrutinised”

Michael Mobbs, Sustainable Projects www.sustainablehouse.com.au